Dear Friends in Christ,
A lot of advertisements this time of year promise “the magic of Christmas.” They often show
sweet children receiving presents from Santa Claus, mouths agape with excitement, eyes
I do not believe in the magic of Christmas. I believe in something stronger.
In the Christian tradition, we do not celebrate magic. Magic is ephemeral and unreliable.
Instead, we celebrate wonder, which is our inheritance as children of God. We pray for it for
the newly baptized, that “they might have the gift of joy and wonder in all your works.” We
cultivate it through beauty, learning in worship how mysterious and awe-inspiring God can be.
And we do not celebrate Christmas, at least not until December 25. We celebrate the very
necessary season of Advent, where we explore the struggle and the discipline of hope. We
learn to wait, and we learn to expect.
Wonder in Advent is not cheap marketing. It is the power of the Spirit, a power we can lean on,
a power that keeps our heads lifted up and our hearts strong.
I hope you can share in that mysterious gift of the Spirit here at Grace. Two particular
opportunities this weekend, for children and adults alike:
- Saint Nicholas will visit our 10:30 choral eucharist, teaching children about the real saint
from Myra, a bishop who demonstrated Christ’s love for the poor. There will also be a
display in the Malm Narthex of art and other items related to this fascinating saint.
- Our 5:00 service will include Advent Lessons and Carols. These readings and hymns will
take us from darkness into light, from waiting towards fulfillment.
I wish you wonder, and I wish you hope.
Yours in Christ,